Black Star Power On B’way: Will and Jada, Plus Denzel and Viola Wins Make History at The 2010 Tony Awards

The Great White Way got a little more black and beautiful for the 2010 Tony Awards. Two-time Academy Award winner Denzel Washington took home honors for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play while his costar Viola Davis took home Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play for their work in August Wilson’s Fences.

And Washington and Davis made Tony history; this was the first year that black performers won best actor and best actress in a play for the same theater season. Fences also won a Tony award for Best Revival of a Play.

Will Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith and Jay-Z (with wife Beyonce) were in all attendance as producers of the musical Fela. The show, which chronicles the life of Nigerian Afropop legend composer and activist Fela Anikulapo Kuti, took home three awards for Best Sound Design of a Musical, Best Choreography, and Best Costume Design of a Musical.—Ronke Idowu Reeves